Daily Management Review

Number of poor in Italy will increase by a million in a year


By the end of the year, the number of poor people in Italy may increase by a million people due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Coldiretti Association of Agricultural Producers reports.

The association analyzed growth of requests for food assistance from the European Union, which is distributed by various charitable organizations. Such appeals have increased by 40%, notes Coldiretti.

“In recent months, the number of new poor people who needed help, including food, increased by more than a million due to the coronavirus pandemic, in 2020. This is a consequence of the economic and social crisis, which resulted in an emergency and subsequent loss of job opportunities,” the message reads.

The association’s forecast is linked to a report by the National Institute of Statistics (Istat) on the spread of poverty in Italy. According to the document, 1.7 million families, or 4.6 million people, lived in the Apennines in the state of absolute poverty in 2019.

"Among the new poor in 2020, there are those who have lost their jobs, small traders or artisans who had to close their shops down, people in gray areas who do not have special subsidies or government assistance and do not have savings, such as many temporary workers or those who have casual earnings, as well as people and families who have never encountered such difficult living conditions before,” writes Coldiretti.

Since the start of the epidemic, nearly four out of ten Italians have taken part in joint actions through donations or products, including through “hanging” purchases, in which the buyer leaves the purchased goods for those in need right in the store.

According to the Istat study, for the first time in four years in Italy, the number and proportion of families in absolute poverty has declined. However, this level is still significantly higher than before the crisis of 2008-2009. In many respects, the introduction of “civilian income”, a state allowance for the poor and unemployed, influenced the decline. In the second half of 2019, more than a million families with a difficult situation benefited from it.

Last week, Istat predicted a 8.3% decline in the country's GDP for the year due to the "unprecedented shock" that the Italian economy experienced as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.

source: repubblica.it